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Star Wars joins Disney Infinity

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The Star Wars universe has joined Disney•Pixar and Marvel in Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits – the latest installment of the “hybrid toy/video game”.

Disney Infinity 3.0 promises to deliver kids and families with a wider breadth of content and variety of gameplay than ever offered from Disney Infinity, including:

·         Three Star Wars Play Sets, one set in the timeline of Episodes I-III, the second set during the original trilogy, Episodes IV-VI, and the third available this winter based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens

·         Additional Play Sets offering distinct gameplay and environments, including a Disney•Pixar Play Set based on the upcoming film Inside Out, and a Marvel Play Set featuring Hulkbuster Iron Man, Ultron, and other Marvel characters

·         A fully enhanced Toy Box with two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games, Toy Box Speedway (kart racing) and Toy Box Takeover (action-adventure)

·         More figures of fan-favourite characters from across The Walt Disney Company, like Mickey and Minnie, Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron: Legacy, Mulan and Olaf, among many others

Disney Infinity is the only game where fans can play with Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters together in one experience,” said James Pitaro, President, Disney Interactive.  “We worked closely with Lucasfilm to deliver an authentic Star Wars game experience, featuring some of the most iconic stories and characters from the past, present and future.”

Each of the Star Wars Play Sets offers distinct experiences, with varied gameplay, environments and characters.  The Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set takes place in the height of the Jedi’s powers, where players will use the Force and Lightsabers in epic battles and master their combat skills alongside Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Maul.  The Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire Play Set will take players on galaxy-spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader, piloting X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon to fight stormtroopers, or exploring and partaking in land-based missions on planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor.  Additionally, fans will have the unique opportunity to play with all of the Star Wars characters in all of the Star Wars Play Sets.

Star Wars is a cross-generational franchise, and Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits creates an incredible opportunity for families and fans to relive their favourite Star Wars moments,” said John Blackburn, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Disney Infinity.  “With the addition of Star Wars, Inside Out and new Disney and Marvel characters, Disney Infinity 3.0 will be the most ambitious and diverse offering yet.”

Disney Infinity 3.0  will also introduce an all-new, 3-D Toy Box Hub that will make it easier for players to choose from a wider selection of gameplay experiences – including platform, racing, and farming simulation games.  Two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games will bring action-adventure gameplay in Toy Box Takeover and kart racing in Toy Box Speedway, where kids and families can play with popular Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters together in a structured setting.

Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits is being developed by Avalanche Software in partnership with Ninja Theory, Sumo Digital, Studio Gobo and United Front Games, and will be available for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment systems, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system and Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii U system from Nintendo, PC and iOS and Android devices.

The Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars Starter Pack will include the Disney Infinity Base and Disney Infinity 3.0 video game software, the Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set, Ahsoka Tano and Anakin Skywalker character figures, and a web code card that unlocks content for PC and mobile devices.  Other Disney Infinity 3.0 Play Sets, figures, and Toy Box Expansion Games will be sold separately.

All figures and Power Discs from the previous editions of Disney Infinity will be compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition in the enhanced Toy Box and, for the first time, Power Discs will be sold in labeled franchise-specific packs of four.  Additional Disney, Disney•Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars figures and Play Sets will be announced in the coming months.

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Planet Radio TV tune in on any device

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Planet Radio TV plans to be Africa’s first online broadcaster that allows its listeners to watch via Internet and satellite TV as well as listen via FM or Internet radio. SEAN BACHER visits its studios.

Planet Radio TV (PRTV) is broadcast much like any other terrestrial radio station, allowing its users to tune into it with a standard FM tuner. But its owner, Planet Image Productions, is about to launch two other means of tuning into the station.

In the coming month, MultiChoice will place a new satellite in orbit that will, by the new year, allow Planet to broadcast to subscribers via the satellite. Planet has also announced the PRTV app, which can be downloaded to Apple, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Mobile devices, allowing users to stream the content to their phones and tablets.

‚”What makes this unique though is that our systems will automatically detect a user’s connection speed and stream content in a format that suits that speed, says Planet Image CEO Wale Akinlabi. ‚”For example, someone connecting through 3G will be able to view high-definition video and hear high-definition audio. A user with a slower connection will still be able to view and listen to the station, but at a lower quality.‚”

This, he believes, will eliminate the buffering issue which discourages many users from streaming video and audio to their devices.

The radio station comprises 80% African music, with the remainder being international, and is targeted at Africa’s youth.

‚”At PRTV we intend to change the way consumers view, listen and interact with television, radio and Internet mediums,‚” says Mabel Mabaso, chief operations officer and director at Planet Image. ‚”It is an exciting platform that synchronises three mediums, providing opportunities for consumers and advertisers alike.‚”

Planet RadioTV differentiates itself from other local broadcasters with its clever use of software and hardware. Planet Image uses a high-definition video-graphics (HDVG) rendering program, designed by Orad, an Israeli company specialising in TV production software. This software suite, combined with four Panasonic high-definition cameras, is able to detect and focus on a person’s voice. When the camera fixes on a voice, that camera is automatically activated and begins broadcasting. Should someone else begin talking, a separate camera will detect the voice and focus on that person.

The software controlling the cameras also performs basic video editing. Mabaso says that, although the initial cost of the equipment was more than that of standard cameras, it will prove well worth it, as it eliminates the need for a dedicated cameraman filming the show in the studio.

‚”Another payoff is that we don’t need that much office space,‚” she says.

Based in Randburg in Johannesburg, the studio is small in comparison to most others and the control room is just big enough for one person.

‚”The control room merely serves as a back-up should one of the cameras fail. It also allows us to control when and where visual adverts appear.‚”

The system is also tightly integrated with applications like Skype.

‚”We can interview someone overseas without having to send a crew there to perform recording. We simply communicate via Skype, making the interviewee’s Internet camera an extension of our own in-studio cameras.‚”

Besides featuring local and international music, the station has regular fashion, food and cooking, music and culture segments, which are broadcast to around 30 000 listeners around Africa.

Rounding up the technology aspect, PRTV has integrated Twitter and Facebook, allowing its listeners to interact with DJs.

Listeners can tune into Planet Radio TV by logging onto www.planetradio.co.za

* Follow Sean Bacher on Twitter on @SeanBacher

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Canon EOS M – small and simple

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Canon has extended the EOS range with the EOS M, its first compact system camera. Although not yet available in South Africa, the EOS M offers DSLR quality images and full HD recording in a compact, easy to use device.

Canon has expanded the EOS range with the launch of the EOS M. The company’s first ever compact system camera (CSC), the EOS M offers DSLR-quality imaging and full HD movie creation in a compact and easy-to-use model.

The EOS M is available in sleek black, glossy white, stylish silver or bold red colours, and condenses Canon’s EOS imaging heritage into a stylish, compact design. The model launches alongside two new lenses, the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake and the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom, as well as a new compact EX Speedlite the Speedlite 90EX. For those who want to push their images even further, the EOS M can also use Canon’s range of EF lenses with the new Mount Adapter EF-EOS M, for even more creative freedom.

The quality of a Canon DSLR

The EOS M’s high-resolution, 18 megapixel APS-C hybrid CMOS sensor also allows you to blur the background for beautiful portraits, or for close-ups with impact.

With the inclusion of Canon’s DIGIC 5 processor, colours ‚’pop’ and skin tones are beautifully natural, while a super-fast shutter allows you to capture split-second action.

Shoot what you see and easily express your creative vision

Every aspect of the EOS M has been designed to make it simple to capture high-quality images. With the high-resolution, 7.7cm (3.0‚”), Clear View LCD II Touch screen, the EOS M gives you as much or as little control over your photos as desired. Simply select different shooting modes and settings via the on-screen icons, or let Scene Intelligent Auto adjust the camera settings according to the subject and shooting conditions, leaving you free to focus on composition and selecting the perfect moment to hit the shutter release button.

Turn film-maker with EOS Movie and Video Snapshot

When a moment calls for more than a still image, the EOS M lets you switch to Full HD video with stereo sound.

Extending the EOS System with dedicated accessories

In addition to compatibility with Canon’s existing EF lenses, accessories and Speedlites, the EOS M launches with its own range of accessories. Two new EF-M lenses offer portability and high performance when using the new model the EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM standard zoom and the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM pancake lens. Both feature new stepper motor technology for exceptionally smooth AF performance, as well as precision Canon optics, while their compact designs offer the perfect form-factor to complement the camera’s pocket-sized body.

Additionally, the EOS M will ship with the new Speedlite 90EX flash unit as standard. Lightweight and highly-compact, it offers a maximum guide number of nine and supports wide-angle lenses, making it an ideal general-purpose flash for everyday use. A wireless master function also allows the control of multiple flash guns wirelessly, allowing more advanced users to experiment with a range of creative lighting effects.

EOS M key features

· The quality of a digital SLR in a compact body

· Scene Intelligent Auto

· Be versatile with interchangeable lenses

· Create out-of-focus backgrounds for high impact

· Easy-to-use touch-screen

· Atmospheric photos in low light

· Full-HD video with Video Snapshot Mode

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